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Unemployment Rises Above 13%: Unemployed People Hidden in Compulsory Courses

Submitted by Aktive Arbeits… on Fri, 01.07.2016 - 22:31

The tricks at the expense of the poorest also continues uninhibitedly under social minister Alois Stöger and Chancellor Christian Kern

(Vienna/Graz 1st July 2016) Even under the new Chancellor Christian Kern the swindle continues in an undiminished way: because the real unemployment has risen again, falsified figures are declard as “unemployment figures” with increased frequency by means of assigned compulsory courses which are expensive and often futile and are taken into consideration for the “national unemployment rate”. 66,803 unemployed people are hidden in courses, which is why the more realistic unemployment figure amounts to 386,772 (which equals 10,7 percent of the unemployment rate) and not to 319,969.1

Though this fraudulent presentation was revoked after a first criticism on the part of ‘Aktive Arbeitslose’2, the Public Employment Service AMS and the Ministry of Social Security led by the Austrian Socialist Party (SPÖ) get back to the old tricks, although it is the minister for economic affairs, Reinhold Mitterlehner of the Austrian Peoples’ Party, who is accountable for the unemployment figure.

And for one thing many are not counted at all…

There are further unconsidered groups to be added to like unemployed people who are ill or unemployed people whose AMS claim has temporarily been stopped (benefit sanction), to say nothing of the “hidden reserves” and other unemployed people not listed by the PES. According to a comprehensive study of the ‘Agendy Austria’3 which is closely related to business the real unemployment figure is to be exact around 60% above the figure recorded by the PES (without educational courses). That is to say: already half a million people (512,000) approximately is without gainful employment, the real unemployment rate would be at approximately 13.5% accordingly!

What the social minister cunningly conceals as well is: even the casualization is continually rising, for which reason full-time and secure jobs with endurable working conditions become scarce. The part-time rate which is in Austria extremely high by tradition is rising as compared internationally. According to Statistics Austria there were already 33.5%4 of employees who were working in an “atypical employee-employer relationship” in 2015, the percentage of women even amounted to 52%. The part-time rate rose to 28.2% all in all, that of women to 47.4%.5 In accordance with the International Labour Organization of the UNO, Austria would be under an obligation to publish a report on “underemployment”, but the government does not submit these reports – in contrast to other states like Germany – to the public when presenting the unemployment figures.

The victims of the politics’ failure continue to be disregarded and are suppressed

Even though the sanction rates6 in the last two years were slightly on the decrease and the PES has made selective improvements in the offer of courses, the fundamental conditions of lies and force remain untouched: the futile courses keep on to be forced upon people by threatening with the deprivation of the livelihood by means of benefit sanctions7 and every single day the right is violated a thousand times at the AMS and the dignity of the (unemployment) insurance payers is seriously offended against. Unemployed people in Vienna who are up in arms against the harassing special treatment with putatively unlawful case management in the regional office are even silenced by notices of action amounting to 1,800 euros and threatening the livelihood.

Although the UNO has called for an open and regular dialogue of the AMS with the long-term unemployed in autumn of 2013 that the sanction regime of Austria is a potential restriction of the human right of freely chosen work8, politics and administration refuse to take unemployment initiatives seriously or to even promote their valuable work. Two rounds of talks with the Legal Profession of the Common People in autumn of 2015 turned out as noncommittal chats9, neither the Ministry of Social Security, the AMS nor the Workers’ and Employees’ Professional Association reacted to constructive and largely easily practicable suggestions10 for the more binding arrangement.

Even in case of the harassing refusal of the disability pension the persons concerned don’t have an own voice and the so-called independent courts ignore medical certificates and draw only on those “court experts” who are paid by the pension insurance companies, rewarded with bonuses and who make favourably slanted or false reports11.

In Upper Austria the blue-black government which is drifting off far to the right has excessively reduced the means-tested minimum income for a part of the recognized refugees ignoring the people concerned, ignoring the constitution and the Human Rights Convention, in order to distract from the actual problems, the increasing labourlessness and the increasing divide between rich and poor achieved in this way with this racist policy.

The reason why the Austrian Socialist Party (SPÖ) follows this evil policy with great enthusiasm and drives many people to despair in this way and into the arms of right-wing populists remains inexplicable. Power can be a very strong drug leading to a loss of the sense of reality, against which only a compulsory withdrawal can help. But who does it better afterwards?

‘Active Unemployed Austria’ demand:

  • Stop the fraud! Statistics in conformity with reality, disclosure of all facts and all political decisions which are made behind closed doors in the supervisory committees for the protection of the unions and management!

  • The setting up of an independent legal and social profession for unemployed people13 as a right assertion agency and as a basis for a self-organization of affected people with strong rights to information and to having a say in affairs as well as the promotion of the self-organizations of affected people as experts on their own behalf!12

  • A work policy that sets the fundamental course towards reduction of working hours and the redistribution of the riches created by all of us by the gradual introduction of an unconditional basic income which is financed by a value-added tax and the Tobin tax! The infrastructure was created by all of us by way of automation (robotization and industry 4.0) and should therefore benefit all human beings!

  • Stop the sanctions of the AMS which run counter to human rights in the areas of the means-tested minimum income and the pension insurance company. These only serve the splitting of the employees and for the production of more pressure on all employees to accept increasingly worse working and living conditions.